Read Isaiah 38 – 42
Sickness, prayer, and healing (chap. 38; remember Ex. 15:26); Hezekiah's poem of praise (38:9-20); Using poor judgment and pride, Hezekiah sets up his future conqueror (chap. 39); A Messianic prophecy of the Deliverer and Savior (chap. 40); Divine help for Israel (41:17); Christ, the Lord's chosen Servant (chap. 42).
Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days. (Isa. 39:8).
Hezekiah's life was on a roller coaster type of journey. He had experienced a repeating cycle of highs followed by lows. Each hill and valley had a lot to do with his decision-making, just as ours do in our own lives.
Hezekiah had been given a death sentence by God. Through Isaiah's words, Hezekiah believed that his life was not finished,so he prayed to God asking for more time. Amazingly, God granted him fifteen more years. In this case, the choice of Hezekiah to turn to God brought him from the valley to the mountaintop.
Not long after this transpired, Hezekiah and the nation of Judah had a visit from some dignitaries from Babylon. Hezekiah greeted them and showed them all of the nation's treasures. After they departed, Isaiah, at the compelling of the Lord, confronted Hezekiah. Isaiah told Hezekiah that he had made a grave error in judgment. By showing an enemy of the Lord the treasures they could gain by conquering God's people, he had sown the seed for a future attack from Babylon in which Judah would be overthrown. Once again Hezekiah made a choice. However, this one carried him from the mountaintop to the valley.
Because of Hezekiah's repentant nature, the Lord promised that the fall to Babylon would not come during his reign. Hezekiah took the Lord's message in stride. He was thankful for the blessing that God had given him even though he had made the mistake.
Before moving forward, it would be good to note something about Hezekiah's tone. Some feel that he is showing a selfish side here. He does not seem worried at all about the future of Judah and his descendants; he just seems happy it won't be his problem to deal with. This is not the case. Most commentators agree that he is simply thankful and hopeful. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thes. 5:18).
In a study of these circumstances, there is much to be learned from Hezekiah. The first thing is never to get so high in our thinking that we feel untouchable. It is not clear whether this is what happened with Hezekiah, but it could have been. God had just blessed him greatly. At times like that be on guard for a sneak attack from the devil. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8).
The second lesson to learn is that regardless of the circumstances in life, we need to turn to God. If bad times come, pray for help. When the Lord sends a blessing, praise Him for it. The Lord is with us through the good and bad in life.
Thought for Today:
Grass withers and flowers fade, but the Word of God shall stand forever.
As the Creator (Is. 40:28; comp. John 1:1-3); as the Shepherd (Is. 40:11; comp. John 10:11); as the Redeemer (Is. 41:14; comp. Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9).
38:10 residue, remainder; 40:2 comfortably, kindly and tenderly; 40:12 meted out, measured; span, spread of the fingers; 42:4 isles, Gentiles are mentioned in Is. 42:1, so the isles in 42:4 refer to the isles of the Gentiles (see Gen. 10:5); 42:13 jealousy, His fury.
Prayer Suggestion: Ask God for daily direction (Ps. 48:14).
Optional Reading: James 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 89:1